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    Hey!
    I've been considering all three universities and I already have an offer from UBC. I've just been wondering how these three institutes would be in terms of class size, professors, and infrastructure. Also, how are the courses offered (I'm going to do biology) and how easy is it to score good grades (grades to get to graduate school or to go to med school)?
    Thanks in advance.
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    Forget Waterloo.

    UBC vs UToronto is tough. Very different environments. I have friends studying life sciences at both institutions, and it seems that uToronto students are way more overworked than UBC ones. When it comes to reputation, UToronto might have a slight edge, but when it comes to the big 3 Canadian universities, differences are negligible.
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    (Original post by Summit)
    Forget Waterloo.

    UBC vs UToronto is tough. Very different environments. I have friends studying life sciences at both institutions, and it seems that uToronto students are way more overworked than UBC ones. When it comes to reputation, UToronto might have a slight edge, but when it comes to the big 3 Canadian universities, differences are negligible.
    So if I pick UBC, I'm more likely to have a more easygoing life where I can probably join clubs and still make good grades?
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    (Original post by Inkfigment)
    So if I pick UBC, I'm more likely to have a more easygoing life where I can probably join clubs and still make good grades?
    From what I heard from my friends, yes. I know someone who specifically turned down uToronto and went to UBC for that reason
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    (Original post by Summit)
    From what I heard from my friends, yes. I know someone who specifically turned down uToronto and went to UBC for that reason
    And is that someone happy in UBC?
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    (Original post by Inkfigment)
    And is that someone happy in UBC?
    Very! She loves the uni, the course and of course Vancouver.
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    (Original post by Summit)
    Very! She loves the uni, the course and of course Vancouver.
    That's awesome! Thank you
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    I turned down UT for UBC. Waterloo is not well known for life sciences.

    From a friend who went to UT St. George, the feeling I got was that the undergraduate labs were very understaffed for first year chemistry. No such issues at UBC.
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    (Original post by Inkfigment)
    Hey!
    I've been considering all three universities and I already have an offer from UBC. I've just been wondering how these three institutes would be in terms of class size, professors, and infrastructure. Also, how are the courses offered (I'm going to do biology) and how easy is it to score good grades (grades to get to graduate school or to go to med school)?
    Thanks in advance.
    Forget about Waterloo completely - it's good in engineering/mathematics, not so much in life sciences.

    UofT and UBC both have killer life science programmes and identical reputation, but it depends on what kind of environment you prefer - UofT is a little more rigorous, strict (I've heard you get kicked off if you're not doing well) and there's about 25k more students enrolled. UBC is more lax and the weather is a nicer in Vancouver.

    McGill would've best suited you for life sciences/pre-med - any reason you didn't apply?
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    (Original post by aymanzayedmannan)
    Forget about Waterloo completely - it's good in engineering/mathematics, not so much in life sciences.

    UofT and UBC both have killer life science programmes and identical reputation, but it depends on what kind of environment you prefer - UofT is a little more rigorous, strict (I've heard you get kicked off if you're not doing well) and there's about 25k more students enrolled. UBC is more lax and the weather is a nicer in Vancouver.

    McGill would've best suited you for life sciences/pre-med - any reason you didn't apply?
    I did apply to McGill! I haven't really heard much from people about McGill is all. How does McGill compare in terms of the atmosphere?
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    (Original post by zombiejon)
    I turned down UT for UBC. Waterloo is not well known for life sciences.

    From a friend who went to UT St. George, the feeling I got was that the undergraduate labs were very understaffed for first year chemistry. No such issues at UBC.
    How has your UBC experience been?
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    (Original post by Inkfigment)
    Hey!
    I've been considering all three universities and I already have an offer from UBC. I've just been wondering how these three institutes would be in terms of class size, professors, and infrastructure. Also, how are the courses offered (I'm going to do biology) and how easy is it to score good grades (grades to get to graduate school or to go to med school)??
    Thanks in advance.

    what kind of grades were you projected

    is you offer conditional

    what was the condition
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    (Original post by sandprince)
    what kind of grades were you projected

    is you offer conditional

    what was the condition
    My projected grades are A*A*ABa and yes, my offer is conditional.
    They haven't really specified the conditions - they just said that the submitted documents must be verified. But on their general website they say : "Your final A-Level (or AS Level) grades have a combined drop of 2 letter grades or more. Your final grades in English or Math have fallen below a grade of B."
    So that would mean that it depends on my current academic standing in AS level of aaab.

    I also have an offer from UWaterloo and the condition is BBB.
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    (Original post by Inkfigment)
    How has your UBC experience been?
    I was there from 06-10, so things probably will have changed.

    When I was there, Totem Park had a lot more parties, and Place Vanier's rep was more for studying. Of my dormmates, most were people who lived further away, which meant we spent weekend and hols together. If you are a keen footballer, Totem is closer to the pitches, and we held daily pick up games. In terms of international students, I ended up with a Nigerian, lad from Birmingham, a Mauritian, and two people from Hong Kong for my first year. For my second year in dorms, there were two people from Dubai, the same Mauritian, and one Japanese. For the most part, the floor I stayed on was tight knit, and approximately a quarter of us returned for a second year. Some dorms had a lot of people who lived within 1-2 hrs drive of UBC Vancouver, and didn't want to bother commuting. As is always the case, your dorm environment will vary, depending on who else is on the floor with you. My first year had a lot of CS/engineering/science people, so things were quiet during midterms/finals. My second year was a lot more noisy due to a high number (approx 80%) of students in the Faculty of Arts.

    As an international student, you will have the chance to arrive early, and go through a tour of Vancouver/UBC with other international students.

    UBC Rec is a popular option for students. They have a lot of competitive sports leagues available - ice hockey, ball hockey (not sure about field hockey), basketball, football, indoor football, American football, Ultimate Frisbee, dodgeball etc. The school also has an indoor pool, with specific hours where students have free entry. There also are lot of clubs - sailing/watersports, ski and snowboard @ Whistler, orienteering, culture clubs, dance (urban and ballroom), science etc. The Science club was a major hit when I was there, although it probably was due to their Buck-a-beaker of beer days. The price has probably gone up now. =/

    Lots of food options on campus, either via the dorm canteens (you're lucky you won't have to go through what I went through) or in the Student Union Building. There also is a bus line that runs downtown, and I believe runs until the wee hours of the morning. Lots of food options nearby, if you are willing to take a 20-30 minute bus ride along West Broadway/West 10th, Dunbar St, W 4th, or to Kerrisdale.

    Grades matter. If you have a high GPA, you will be able to register earlier, and thus have the pick of the most interesting courses, and can set your schedule up whichever way you want. Spend 2-3hrs studying per day. UBC doesn't really have a tutoring system set up for students, and you will be left to your own devices a lot of times. Some courses will have tutorials, but the first year ones do not really cover material relevant to the course exam (you will be required to attend for project grades). The tutorials for Genetics and General Biochem (I think both were required) were extremely useful, as they covered exam material. Some of the teaching assistants would also hold review sessions going through past papers near midterms and finals, which I would recommend attending (especially for genetics).

    IIRC, most of the Arts classes were in the evening, whilst Science and Engineering were in the morning (due to the need for afternoon labs). Also, check out a map to make sure you know where your class locations are before registering. I had a friend who had to make a run from Buchanan (English class) to Forest Sciences Building (for ecology) in ~10 minutes (around 1.2k in total). You also have the freedom to set up your day how you want it - wake up early and finish early, or only have lectures in the afternoon. If you stay in dorms, I would recommend having afternoon classes - you never know what your dormmates will end up like. They can either be work hard, play hard types, or people who have no respect for others. I have experienced both, and the latter are the most annoying to work with, even if you elevate complaints to a higher level.

    Class size wise, your first two years will involve large lectures of 100-200 students, depending on the lecture theatre (can occur all over campus). I hated the lectures and exams in the Physics building because the desks were lap height, and I'm approximately 6'0. Latter years, with increased specialization, will see class size drop. The smallest I was in was approx. 20 students, with a mix of undergraduate and postgraduate students.

    For your first year, you will be sharing lectures with a lot of people (common courses) and this will set up most of your friendships. People start branching out in their 2nd year, and by 3rd year, they will have been accepted into specific majors eg ecology, molecular biology, oceanography, microbiology and immunology, etc. Try to space out your elective courses throughout your 4 years. Nothing is more difficult than cramming 5 upper-level courses into one term, and finding out all the exams are to occur in a 48hr time period.


    (Original post by aymanzayedmannan)
    UofT and UBC both have killer life science programmes and identical reputation, but it depends on what kind of environment you prefer - UofT is a little more rigorous, strict (I've heard you get kicked off if you're not doing well) and there's about 25k more students enrolled. UBC is more lax and the weather is a nicer in Vancouver.
    UBC also kicks out people who aren't doing well. The thing is, at UBC, it is a little harder to not perform well because the campus is somewhat isolated from Vancouver itself. UT St. George, on the other hand, is smack in the middle of downtown Toronto, which results in a lot more distractions at hand. A 30 minute walk from UBC either puts a person in a forest, on a very windy nude beach (not recommended to visit), or in a suburb. A 30 minute walk from UT leads to clubs, bars, and restaurants. If you do end up visiting UT St. George, I suggest visiting Kensington Market.

    As for nicer weather in Vancouver...it's a myth. Or mostly a myth. Usually April (barring the freak snowstorm) is sunny, and it remains that way until around October. Then it's overcast skies and a high potential of rain thanks to the Pineapple Express. Or snow, which is a little bit more annoying if you don't know how to walk on ice.
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    (Original post by zombiejon)
    UBC also kicks out people who aren't doing well. The thing is, at UBC, it is a little harder to not perform well because the campus is somewhat isolated from Vancouver itself. UT St. George, on the other hand, is smack in the middle of downtown Toronto, which results in a lot more distractions at hand. A 30 minute walk from UBC either puts a person in a forest, on a very windy nude beach (not recommended to visit), or in a suburb. A 30 minute walk from UT leads to clubs, bars, and restaurants. If you do end up visiting UT St. George, I suggest visiting Kensington Market.

    As for nicer weather in Vancouver...it's a myth. Or mostly a myth. Usually April (barring the freak snowstorm) is sunny, and it remains that way until around October. Then it's overcast skies and a high potential of rain thanks to the Pineapple Express. Or snow, which is a little bit more annoying if you don't know how to walk on ice.
    Ah, but I've heard that the grade deflation is the worst in UofT - is it not as bad in UBC?

    Can't comment much re: weather. I'll be going to Montreal and it's probably the worst there. :lol: Vancouver and Toronto are probably better in that aspect.
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    Thank you so much for such a constructive reply. I will keep it in mind.
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    (Original post by aymanzayedmannan)

    Can't comment much re: weather. I'll be going to Montreal and it's probably the worst there. :lol: Vancouver and Toronto are probably better in that aspect.
    I assume you're going to McGill? What won you over about the university?
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    (Original post by aymanzayedmannan)
    Ah, but I've heard that the grade deflation is the worst in UofT - is it not as bad in UBC?

    Can't comment much re: weather. I'll be going to Montreal and it's probably the worst there. :lol: Vancouver and Toronto are probably better in that aspect.
    There's still grade deflation at UBC. I won't be able to tell you how bad it is compared to UT St. George, but I got curved down in Math 101 - Integrative Calculus. The UT catchment area is also much larger than UBC's, which is part of the reason why UT has 3 campuses.

    Btw, if you can, take the MATH courses focused towards life sciences - they will be a little easier than the pure ones.

    As a tip, watch out for the hill at McGill when going to the bio building - early morning classes in the winter = less light, and there will be black ice.
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    (Original post by Inkfigment)
    Hey!
    I've been considering all three universities and I already have an offer from UBC. I've just been wondering how these three institutes would be in terms of class size, professors, and infrastructure. Also, how are the courses offered (I'm going to do biology) and how easy is it to score good grades (grades to get to graduate school or to go to med school)?
    Thanks in advance.
    First of all, congratulations on your offers!

    I'm going to be disagreeing with the majority of the commenters. Although it is true that U of T and UBC are good in life sciences in comparison to Waterloo, it is extremely competitive and equally difficult to gain the grades that you'll need for med school. Note that a large number of life science students drop out of U of T and UBC in the first year (someone at U of T told me it was around 20-30% after the first semester from a class of over 1,000 students). They generally accept large numbers of students, only to sift them through the years, since you will have to apply for specialisations in the second year.

    Waterloo, albeit not strong in life sciences, is a good choice for you, given that you have the ability to secure good grades without sacrificing too much of the reputation. Note that many people that end up in med school or grad school generally are not from U of T or UBC, mainly due to the competitive and cutthroat nature of the programme, as well as grade deflation, putting you at a disadvantage compared to your fellow rivals at other unis.

    If you also have the co-op option, it would also put you in a better position, given that you will have work experience as opposed to your peers at U of T or UBC. I'm not too sure if they offer co-op at U of T (I believe they do at UTSC, but not the St. George campus) or UBC, but I can tell you that it would be in your favour.

    Of course, if you are the cream of the crop, then by all means attend U of T and UBC, where you will thrive in that kind of environment. Otherwise, avoid U of T and UBC by all means and go to Waterloo, where you will have a better chance of getting into grad school and med school.
 
 
 
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